Monday, September 29, 2008

Faces of Horror 2



Let’s say it once and for all: Poe and Lovecraft—not to mention a Bruno Schulz or a Franz Kafka—were what the world at large would consider extremely disturbed individuals. And most people who are that disturbed are not able to create works of fiction. These and other names I could mention are people who are just on the cusp of total psychological derangement. Sometimes they cross over and fall into the province of “outsider artists.” That’s where the future development of horror fiction lies—in the next person who is almost too emotionally and psychologically damaged to live in the world but not too damaged to produce fiction.

-Thomas Ligotti



This is the best picture of Ligotti available on the internet. Sorry...

26 comments:

Fox said...

Man... $10 says that guy never gets laid.

bill r. said...

Well, he's the very kind of writer he's describing. And his view of the world and the universe is so utterly bleak and hopeless that an interviewer asked him once why he didn't commit suicide, if that's how he felt (the question wasn't phrased quite so bluntly, but, Ligotti being who he is, it's a very reasonable thing to ask, and didn't come off as out of bounds at all). Ligotti said that, if he had no family, he would.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Brian Doan said...

Completely off-topic, but-- good job on your Redskins beating the Cowboys, Bill!

(Sorry to go off-topic, but I thought we should take advantage of the opportunity, as it may not arise again. (:)

bill r. said...

That's okay, Brian, I was wondering if I should do a Redskins post. I decided not to, but goodness, am I excited about football right now. The Redskins have turned things around fast. And to beat Dallas, at home...well, I'm over the moon, let's just say.

And Jason Campbell, I'm sure you're reading this, so let me say that I'm very sorry that I ever doubted you.

Jonathan Lapper said...

So I guess you don't have the same football rule on your blog. That said, I've not seen a game this season. Believe it or not. College nor pro. Not one game. Zilch.

bill r. said...

Why? Because of what happened to Brady, or is there something more?

Fox said...

Bill... your team is 3-1, Brian's (Browns) is 1-3, and mine (Texans) is 0-3. Nice, huh?

I kinda even wish we would sign Cedric Benson at this point. More seriously, I would LOVE to see the Texans go after Vince Young since he's from Houston and he's totally melted down in Tennessee.

And how does Lapper claim the Pats as his team? Doesn't he live in SoCar? I mean, to each his own, but regionally I thought he would join you on loving the 'Skins. I mean, I guess he's closer to Atlanta... but pffft, come on!

Fox said...

p.s. Bill, you just jinxed Campbell by praising him too early! WTG, man!

bill r. said...

Jonathan is actually in, I believe, Silver Springs, MD, which means he should either be a 'Skins fan, or a (shudder) Ravens fan. But he claims to originally hail from Massachusetts, which I still don't see a good excuse for being a Patriots fan.

Jonathan Lapper said...

South Carolina? What the fuck are you smoking Fox? Okay, actually, I am originally from there and I must have mentioned it at some point or the Gamecocks must've come up somewhere. Anyway, my dad lived in Mass for a couple of years but that's not really why I'm a Pats fan. It's more of a general love for the New England area more than anything else. It's my favorite part of the country. I latched onto the Pats when I was five years old and never looked back...

... until now.

Here's the thing. Growing up in SC one is either a Clemson fan or a South Carolina fan. That's Tigers or Gamecocks. Decades of winning tradition and a National Championship or the lovable losers who have barely had a third of their seasons be winning.

Well, my dad raised me to always go for the underdog and so we were a Gamecocks family. As for the Patriots, they were great. As in they sucked. For decades. Other kids literally made jokes about it to me before I'd tell them to fuck off and my parents just kept getting me Patriots jackets and tee-shirts and reinforcing the underdog mentality.

When we made our first Super Bowl in 86 it somehow felt right that we lost 46-10. Then on our third try we won. And we won as underdogs.

Then we won two more with dominant 14-2 records and the whole underdog feeling was kind of gone. Then last year the season started with a cheating scandal and ended with the Patriots in the role of Goliath being beaten by David.

Somewhere in there I lost the feel for it all.

The Gamecocks still suck, so I've got that but frankly right now I'm going through a latency period with it all. And even if the Patriots lose the next ten seasons in a row they're still going to be the Patriots, like the Cowboys or Raiders will always have their reps no matter what happens. I don't like the Cowboys and Raiders and partly it's because of their jerkwad reps. Now the Patriots kind of have that too.

So anyway, long story short, I'm kind of, sort of taking the season off. I still follow it on the sports pages but on the whole the game kind of depresses me right now. We'll see how it goes.

bill r. said...

You should try rooting for the Redskins, Jonathan. They beat the Cowboys, who are probably considered the best team in the NFL, and the media looks at the game through the prism of "what does this mean for the Cowboys". It's almost like the Cowboys played a bunch of ghosts.

Jonathan Lapper said...

The Skins are big time winners too with plenty of Super Bowl titles. I'll always be a Patriots fan but right now I kind of don't want to follow them. I think I need another team to root for in the interim that still feels close to New England and the division so I was thinking maybe the Jets. I've always liked them even though they're a rival and they only won one Super Bowl in a fluke win 40 years ago. But not this season. Favre gets on my nerves. I putter around this year and figure it out next season.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh and I forgot to add

the media looks at the game through the prism of "what does this mean for the Cowboys". It's almost like the Cowboys played a bunch of ghosts.

Just another reason I hate the Cowboys. And see, that's how the Patriots became too, much to my dismay. Everything was about them, never about who they were playing unless it was the Colts. It's annoying as hell.

bill r. said...

The Redskins have won three Super Bowls, over a roughly ten year period, and their last win was in 1991. Since then, no one has paid them much mind. They're hardly one of the "dynasty" teams. They've always been underdogs, save for those three seasons.

Join us, Jonathan...join us...

Fox said...

Root for my team, The Texans. We suck big time! 0-3!

Although, if the Pats show up this Sunday like they did against Miami two weeks ago, you may be able to root for an underdog again sometime soon. Personally, I think they weill rebound and pull of at least a 10-6 season, but...

And I very much agree with you guys on the media bias towards the Cowboys. Now quadruple that feeling, b/c that's how it is in Texas if you're anywhere but Houston.

Cowboy hatred is instilled in me. It's up there with Cubs hatred, and Mets hatred.

bill r. said...

Since you guys hate the Cowboys as much (almost) as I do, allow me to direct your attention towards this book: "Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboy Dynasty" by Jeffrey Pearlman. A friend of mine, who is an ex-Cowboys fan, sent it to me. This Christmas, give it to all the Cowboys haters you love

Brian Doan said...

Ah, but Fox, just wait a few years-- 0-3 is impressive, yes, and I greatly admire the record of futility and dashed hopes that your Texans have inspired in just a few short years.

But to truly know pain, be a Browns fan, my friend. It's like taking all of the above Texans pain and squaring it, over the course of 45 years. Admittedly, I've only been a fan for about half that time, but between John Elway's last-second drives and Earnest Byner's fumbles, between Butch David and Bud Carson, early Belichick and late-period Crennel (to say nothing of Clifford Charlton, one of my favorite draft busts)...well, the Browns really set the gold standard for futility. And it's more 'fun' because they raise your hopes just enough...before smashing them again.

Funny coincidence, Bill-- I was about to recommend the Pearlman book, too. I picked it up from the library the other day, and have been tearing through it. It's a really good read, and I will say it gives me a greater respect for Troy Aikman, who I always though was kind of bland. But the rest of the org? Yeah, they come off pretty poorly...heh heh heh.

bill r. said...

I have no idea what it must be like to be a Browns fan. At least, as a Skins fan, I know that good things have happened in the past, so maybe they'll happen again. But being a Browns fan must be quite painful and unrewarding. I am sorry for your pain, Brian.

bill r. said...

Oh, and how 'bout that Chris Haley??

Fox said...

But hey, don't forget that I was an Oilers fan before I was a Texans fan. So that means a couple of things:

1. Brian and I used to be arch enemies b/c Bernie Kosar used to be the devil to me.

2. The Oilers broke my heart when they lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoffs that would've put them in the drivers seat for their first Super Bowl ever.

3. Brian and I both know the pain of losing your team, only to stay loyal and wait for them to come back. (We also both hate our teams ex-owners, Bud Adams and Art Modell... may they burn in hell together!)

Being an Oilers fan was also detailed in a book called Year of Pain. Though, I will concede that that pain is nothing close to that of a Browns fan.

Remember Webster Slaughter? He was pretty rad.

Brian Doan said...

Fox,
LOVED Webster Slaughter-- that whole 80s squad was, to use your word, rad. I take back what I said earlier-- if you were an Oilers fan, you definitely understand the pain of fandom. (:

Sorry Kosar broke your heart, but wasn't it an Oilers match in '89 (it was either the end of the regular season or the first playoff game) when the normally great Clay Matthews made that weird fumble recovery/lateral pass that almost cost us the game?

Yes, Art Modell is the worst-- that ESPN can just go forward acting like millions of fans' hearts aren't broken when these venal business decisions are made and teams are ripped away from their cities... Well, to paraphrase Michael in the GODFATHER II, "We're all part of the same hypocrisy."

Bill, I'm told that the Browns actually won NFL championships in the pre-Super Bowl days. And we've certainly come close since. But yeah, the roller coaster ride is a little disheartening sometimes. On the other hand, it makes the good years (like last year's surprising 10-6 season) all the sweeter.

And yeah, between Haley and the Irvin-stabbing-his-teammate story, that was quite a book about the Cowboys. I also love the idea that Jerry Jones almost brought in Lou Holtz (!) to replace Jimmy Johnson.

Jonathan "Mad Dog" Lapper said...

If I was picking out of pure futility I'd go with the Cardinals who possess the worst post-season appearance ratio of any team in existence. Seriously, you can look it up. It's been written about. I'm talking all sports. They have been around since, are you ready, 1899! And they've appeared in the post-season... 9 times. That's nine games total, not nine separate years. The Detroit Lions have a more impressive record. But for me it's region as well which is why it would have to be the Bills or the Jets because they bring me closer to the New England area.

John Self said...

Hm, Bruno Schulz, you say? (Or rather, Ligotti says.) Picked up his The Street of Crocodiles the other week and thought it looked interesting. Maybe I should even open it soon.

bill r. said...

Hey, John! I also recently picked up The Streets of Crocodiles, and really look forward to reading him. But then I say that about a lot of writers, don't I?

John Self said...

Yeah, me too Bill. But I brought it to work with me today. So if I finish the Brian Moore I'm currently reading, and get a blog review done of the Jhumpa Lahiri I just finished, and work doesn't get in the way meanwhile, and I can actually bring myself to stop frigging about on people's blogs for half a goddamn hour, then who knows? That first page may well get well and truly read.

bill r. said...

Somehow, I think you'll manage. You've already more than doubled my reading for the year so far, and you've written review for nearly every book you've read. I frankly don't have any idea how you manage it. Aren't you an attorney?? Maybe I should get into that line of work so I'll have more time to read. Or I could be less of a slack-ass. Either way.

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